Your nose may be ordinary
but don't compare it
to mine. I wear the only one
I've got my own way:
in its place, not high, never stuck
in your business, not some model
of how I could make it intrude
where it's not wanted.
Your eyes may be ordinary
but don't compare them
to mine. I'm Greek. Mine flash
in the darkness of drama
and keep their green
always on. I like to go
where others don't. I get
to look into my own soul.
Your mouth may be ordinary,
or heart-shaped, thin-lipped
or thick, but don't compare it
to mine. I need mine to speak
up when I witness what you turn
blind to, know when to keep it
closed when lashed by the tongue
you won't bite. Your ears may be
ordinary, stick out or lie close, maybe
pierced, or not, but don't compare
them to mine. I have to keep mine
in tune with the sounds in my head,
listen to how my own music gets
loud or grows soft, drowns
out that other voice only I know.
Now, are you ready? You can face this:
Compare and contrast x and y,
where both x and y are you.
Repeat till you find
what you're looking for.
© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas
I'm participating in the Domino Project's #Trust30 challenge, an online writing/reflection initiative for which a prompt is posted daily. All of the prompts to date are here.
Today's poem is inspired by the 25th prompt from consultant, trainer, educator, and best-selling author, Patti Digh, who also is an internationally renowned speaker on diversity, global business, and living intentionally:
Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are out most potent at our most ordinary. And yet most of us discount our "ordinary" because it is, well, ordinary. Or so we believe. But my ordinary is not yours. Three things block us from putting down our clever and picking up our ordinary: false comparisons with others ("I'm not so good a writer as ____."), false expectations of ourselves ("I should be on the NYT best seller list or not write at all."), and false investments in a story ("It's all been written before, I shouldn't bother.").
What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? List them. Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world. Put down your clever and pick up your ordinary.
* * *
I've used all of the #Trust30 prompts as inspiration for new poems. Poems for prompts 16 - 24 (beginning with most recent after today's post) are:
You'll find my poem for the 15th prompt, "Truth Be Told", and a list of poems for prompts 1 - 14 here.